(February 19, 2014) DUBAI – Venus Williams gained some revenge for her loss to Ana Ivanovic in the Auckland final last month by routing the Serbian 6-2, 6-1 at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday.
“I learned a lot from that match,” Williams said of the Auckland loss “I definitely think I approached this match differently.
“I have improved a lot since then, too. I have had to take some tough losses, but I have learned from them, and, you know, made them constructive. That’s what I’m trying to do each time.
Ivanovic admitted that having played late the previous evening might have influenced her performance. But so did how well Venus Williams played.
“It’s hard to get much sleep when you finish that late and that kind of match, too,” said Ivanovic. “But she started really firing, you know, from the first moment on. It was just really hard. I tried to be aggressive and to put her under pressure, but I was just making way too many errors today.”
“I’m just trying to play well every day, take one point at a time and learn from my mistakes every match, try to go out there relaxed with a clear mind, Williams said. “That’s what I’m trying to do.
“I think I’m playing smarter. Yeah. But I just want to keep playing better.
“I really expected a lot closer, to be honest, but, you know, like I said, she played well and it really wasn’t my day,” Ivanovic said.
“I definitely think she was a lot more aggressive (versus in the Auckland final). She was stepping in the court way more, coming to the net more often.
“You know, she served well I thought in Auckland, too, but today I just felt she was putting more pressure on me.”
Venus teamed with sister Serena in doubles but losing 6-4, 4-6, 10-4 to Australian Open finalists Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
This also marked a day where second, third and fourth seeds all lost including defending champion Petra Kvitova.
Petra Kvitova fell in her opening match 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 to Carla Suarez Navarro.
Kvitova dominated the opening set against Suarez Navarro, led 4-2 in the second and served for the match at 5-4 in the third. But her persistent opponent refused to concede and eventually claimed the win in a tiebreak.
“When I was leading in the second set, I lost very badly my serve, and I think that from that moment I was like a little bit mentally down and I was trying to come back,” said Kvitova. “I was close, but still she won the second set and it was tough to come back again in the third. In the tiebreak I just made two easy mistakes, and I think that was the thing what she did better.”
Qualifier Flavia Pennetta stunned second seed and world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-1.
“The ball was really flying,” said Radwanska. “I didn’t really feel the ball today at all. I think she was using the wind much, much better than I did. The conditions for me are tough. When I don’t feel the ball, it’s not good.”
Pennetta had lost her last three matches against Radwanska.
“Sometimes when you play with a player like Agnieszka it’s not easy because the ball, it always come back,” said Pennetta. “You have the feeling like you cannot win any points because it’s like a wall, completely. So you’re starting to be a little bit frustrating and starting to make so many mistakes, and today I just try to stay there every point, just to play every point in the same way, don’t go away.”
Fourth seed and 2013 Dubai finalist Sara Errani was beaten 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 by Sorana Cirstea.
DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
February 17-February 22, 2014
Results – Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Singles – Second Round
(Q) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 64 61
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. (3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 16 64 76(4)
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (4) Sara Errani (ITA) 62 57 61
(5) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 75 64
(8) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (Q) Annika Beck (GER) 64 64
Alizé Cornet (FRA) d. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) 63 64
(WC) Venus Williams (USA) d. Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 62 61
Doubles – First Round
(2) Makarova/Vesnina (RUS/RUS) d. (WC) Williams/Williams (USA/USA) 64 46 104 (Match TB)
(WC) Pennetta/Stosur (ITA/AUS) d. (3) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) 61 16 106 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Thursday, February 20, 2014
Centre Court (from 14.00hrs)
1. Venus Williams vs. Flavia Pennetta
2. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Sorana Cirstea
3. Serena Williams vs. Jelena Jankovic (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Carla Suárez Navarro vs. Alizé Cornet
Court 1 (from 14.00hrs)
1. Raymond/Zhang vs. Hlavackova/Safarova
2. Errani/Vinci vs. Kops-Jones/Spears
3. Kudryavtseva/Rodionova vs. Makarova/Vesnina
4. Pennetta/Stosur vs. Groenefeld/Rosolska